Sailing the spiritual voyage

Devotees offering prayers as a float in the shape of a boat passes by during the Nine Emperor Gods procession in Noordin Street. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

IT was a lively and vibrant night as locals and tourists gathered to get a glimpse of the Kew Ong Yeah (Nine Emperor Gods) procession at the Tow Moo Keong temple in Noordin Street in George Town.

About 15 floats lined up the entire stretch of the road for the procession which began at 7.45pm on Sunday.

At least 2,000 people including devotees were present as the float, decked with multi-coloured LED lights, made its way into Jalan C.Y. Choy from Noordin Street for the 7km-procession.

The route covered Jalan Gurdwara, Lebuh Macallum, Lebuh McNair, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Penang, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Lebuh Carnarvon, Lebuh Kimberly and Magazine Road.

Temple president Datuk Koay Kean Huat said since the temple was established over a century ago, they had never held a procession on the second day of the celebration.

“This additional procession was introduced to seek the blessing of the Nine Emperor Gods,” he said.

Koay said they would also hold a grand parade to send off the deity to the sea on the last day of the festival this Sunday.

The Nine Emperor Gods festival also coincides with the Navarathiri Festival celebrated by Hindus.

Hindu devotees would pray to Goddess Amman and follow a strict vegetarian diet during the festival which means “nine nights”.

According to the Hindu Puranas (Hindu religious texts), the festival is held to commemorate the victory of Goddess Parasakthi over the demon king Mahishasuran.

Chariot processions bearing the statue of the goddess by temples which have their own chariots, will be making their rounds on Oct 12, which is the last day of the festival.

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